Did China actually lie about the coronavirus?

China had some initial problems such as:

  1. They initially had no idea what virus was causing the outbreak. Finding a new virus by using scanning electron microscopes is frustratingly like looking for a needle in a haystack. It takes time.
  2. Once identified, a test had to be developed so the scale could be assessed. This also takes time.
  3. The logistics of setting up a new surveillance network are daunting. You are talking about mobilizing many, many thousands of people from policemen to epidemiologists. This also takes time.
  4. Mass quarantines must be carefully thought out to avoid or mitigate as many negative consequences as possible —- such as how do quarantined people get food?

Yes, in the early days and weeks, China was deficient in reporting because they simply did not have the data. And as things were shaping up, the surveillance system ran out of test kits and had to shift to other methods, causing a small glitch in reporting. But overall, China has been excellent in being forthcoming and transparent. There could be some improvement still, but that will help the next pandemic, not this one.

 

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